15th Spetember 2006

MEPs are being urged to support a move which would limit European Parliament presidents to two terms as a way of promoting "fresh leadership."

Conservative MEPs leader Ashley Fox has submitted an amendment to the revised rules of procedure being drawn up by the Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee via the Corbett report. It states that "Members shall be permitted to serve a maximum of two terms in the office of President ...which may be served consecutively or with interruption."

The current president, German Socialist Martin Schulz, is preparing to seek re-election for a third term.

Mr Fox pointed out that introducing a limit would bring the presidency into line with the Presidency of the European Council, currently held by Donald Tusk, which allows an individual to serve a maximum of two, two-and-a-half year terms.

He said: "At a time when we are criticising the concentration of power within a number of countries around the world, we feel that this amendment would not only promote fresh leadership but also showcase the democratic values of this House and encourage checks and balances on one of our most visible representatives.

"Of course, another positive affect would be to disqualify Martin Schulz from running for the position again."

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